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December 18, 2019

SEC’s Actions Unwisely Expose Main Street Investors to High-Risk Investment Choices and Unscrupulous Financial Professionals

Wednesday, December 18, 2019
Contact:  Christopher Elliott, 202-618-6433,

Washington, D.C.  –  Lev Bagramian, Senior Securities Policy Advisor at Better Markets, issued the following statement in response to the SEC’s regulatory actions:

“Christmas came early for Wall Street today as the SEC opened a big bag of gifts for the financial industry and handed coal to retirees and savers on Main Street.  Instead of protecting investors and markets while punishing lawbreakers, the SEC gutted its own rules on collateralized-debt obligations (CDOs) and swaps—the same financial products that Warren Buffet referred to as “financial weapons of mass destruction,” and the same financial products that caused and spread the 2008 financial crisis.  

“The SEC also proposed to give itself the authority to weaken a fundamental rule that has protected retirees and financially less sophisticated Americans against highly dangerous financial products and unscrupulous financial professionals who peddle these products.  The SEC has failed to demonstrate that savers and retirees with less financial sophistication are clamoring to invest in dark markets.  And it remains unclear how the American economy and workers will benefit by allowing struggling businesses to pay high commissions to disreputable financial professionals who will peddle the securities to uninformed investors who cannot withstand significant financial loss.

“These actions will help the financial industry gain access to the hard-earned savings of hardworking Americans.  While it may make sense to permit financial professionals and truly sophisticated investors to risk their own money in high-risk and dangerous investments, it goes against the basic credo and mission of the SEC to expose financially less sophisticated retirees and savers to often complex and usually opaque private offerings with significant risk of loss.”


Better Markets is a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization founded in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to promote the public interest in the financial markets, support the financial reform of Wall Street and make our financial system work for all Americans again. Better Markets works with allies – including many in finance – to promote pro-market, pro-business and pro-growth policies that help build a stronger, safer financial system that protects and promotes Americans’ jobs, savings, retirements and more. To learn more, visit

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